Bette Midler. Sarah Jessica Parker. Goldie Hawn. Diane Keaton. Do I need to say more?
Well, I guess I should. “The First Wives Club.” Is that enough? Okay fine… then I’ll have to tell you more about the film.
The flick, about three college besties who reconsider their marriages and their lives after one of their other friends offs herself (Stockard Channing), is a chick flick staple. Released in 1996 in a pre-“Sex and the City” world, the film is funny, fashionable romp about sassy New Yorkers who seek revenge on their soon-to-be ex-husbands.
Does that make the film sound petty? Yes! Well that’s because the film is kind of petty. But who doesn’t love to see women seek justice against the men who left them for younger versions of themselves? Yeah, that’s what I thought: no one. Midler plays the nice Jewish mom and wife whose husband (Dan Hedaya) leaves her for a bouncy younger lass (Parker), who has her eye on his cash.
Meanwhile, Keaton plays the well-meaning wife of a man who runs an ad agency. When problems arise in their marriage, he seeks the affections of their therapist (Marcia Gay Harden). Jerk!
Finally, Goldie is perfectly cast as a plastic-surgery obsessed movie star married to a film producer who’d rather cast his young girlfriend (Elizabeth Berkley) in a flick and not her. Well, they all get theirs.
Got it? Good. Without giving too much away — and there are many fascinating twists and turns in the film that I would love to divulge but I want you to check out for yourself — the women do prove to their husbands (ex and otherwise) that in the end, girl power beats out anything.
And, instead of keeping their winnings — which they win back with the help of their many kooky pals — for themselves, they open a safe haven for the first wives of the world. Thus, the First Wives Club. Their motto: You don’t own me. Got it? I thought you would.